Meryl Streep has been raking in awards and nominations for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. But accolades for best picture, best director, or best script? Zip.
That’s the conventional wisdom on The Iron Lady: Streep deserves the Oscar for playing the British Prime Minister, but director Phyllida Lloyd does not craft a movie equal to the performance. That’s typically when someone snorts that Lloyd also directed the critically panned Mamma Mia! Reality check:
Not only did that musical showcase a bold, silly, sexy, singing Streep, it was also her all-time biggest money-maker, grossing $610 million worldwide.
No one expects that kind of global take for Streep’s current biopic. The Oscar winner is consistently so fantastic that when she channels Thatcher, political icon and real woman, audiences tend to be a little jaded about her talent. What can’t this actress do?
Still, as Thatcher, Streep faces steep resistance: Few liked Maggie — at least not publicly. She was the cod liver oil of politicians, nasty but effective. Working with Lloyd, Meryl creates a monumental woman in sensible shoes, from early ambition to late dementia. She takes this Tory tyrant and creates if not a feminist role model then a formidable woman who refused to wash the teacups of the lesser men around her, and boldly went where no Englishwoman had gone before: 10 Downing Street.
(read the rest at FilmCritic.com)